Millions of companies sell similar products to the competition, whether they’re frozen dinners, peanut butter, toilet paper, kitty litter, or yoga pants.
What makes one company sell more units than another, despite selling the same product?
Effective branding methods propel top-selling companies, but what exactly is a “brand?”
At its bare minimum, a brand is simply an identifier of a company or product. McDonald’s famous golden arches, Walt Disney’s legendary castle, and Frosted Flakes’ Tony the Tiger are just a few classic brand examples.
Take Frosted Flakes, for example. Generic versions are available at a fraction of the cost, but Frosted Flakes’ branding power still smashes the competition. This result is due, in part, to consumers growing up with the popular cereal brand.
Studies show that brand loyalty is rooted in childhood experiences. Consumers grew up with Frosted Flakes via TV commercials, print ads, and in-store advertising.
Every company has the potential to make an impact with a compelling brand strategy. Discover your own brand potential in this latest guide.
1. Craft a Compelling Logo
It’s hard to imagine a brand without a logo.
Logos imprint brands on consumers’ minds, which strengthens brand awareness, loyalty, and retention. You can watch this phenomenon in action through marketing.
Logos communicate across every marketing channel, whether through social media, email, direct mail, menus, brochures, or websites.
Promotional marketing, in particular, proves the power of logos. Branded mugs, pens, stationery, calendars, and business cards can live in consumers’ homes for years, even decades!
With this type of access, you need a relevant logo that inspires consumer trust.
Designing Your Logo
Work with a brand designer to come up with a logo relevant to your industry.
If you’re opening a cleaning business, design a logo with bubbles, soap, scrub brushes, or rubber gloves. A food company logo could feature crates, fruit bunches, or a bread slice.
Colors are also critical to your logo design.
McDonald’s purposely uses red and yellow to inspire hunger and action in customers. Spas use tranquil colors like moss green and lavender to elicit comfort and calmness.
Logos require a multifaceted approach. This article by Growth Gurus further explores the creative process behind effective logos and brand design.
2. Tell Your Story
Branding isn’t just about style. Top companies also prioritize substance in their brands.
One way to inject substance into your brand is to tell a story.
Let’s start with your own story.
Answer these questions to discover your brand’s signature narrative:
- Why did you build your company or product?
- What values drive your product?
- What do you hope to achieve with your company?
- What problems does your brand solve?
- Who is your ideal customer?
These questions will help build out a brand story that connects with customers.
Let’s assume you’re a camping brand. Your brand story could revolve around your own experiences backpacking around the world. A portion of your products’ proceeds could go to protecting wildlife, an example of values-driven marketing.
Storytelling in Brand Marketing
Great brands also have missions. If you’re starting an outdoor brand, ask yourself how your brand improves the environment or quality of life.
You’re not tied to one story, either. Great stories are the heart of successful marketing campaigns.
An excellent example of this branding method is Jake from Statefarm. Statefarm’s video ads follow Jake as he reassures consumers of the company’s commitment to consumers. Customers see Jake at home, hanging out, and talking to happy customers.
Progressive Insurance also enlists the episodic storytelling method with its own spokesperson, Flo. Customers have gotten to know Flo through popular TV commercials, social media, and direct mail marketing. There are even Flo bobbleheads!
Imagine all the kids growing up with Flo and Jake right now. Both Statefarm and Progressive insurance are showing companies how to establish brand loyalty.
3. Customer-Centric Branding Methods
Business isn’t just about recruiting new customers. Customer lifetime value (CLV) is critical for cash flow and revenue generation.
More companies are taking customer-centric approaches to branding. Customer relationship management (CRM) software, virtual customer service, social media, feedback, and consumer data analytics are just a few techniques driving customer-minded branding.
A good example of this branding method is GoDaddy’s customer council. GoDaddy invites select customers to join their customer council. Council members post feedback and have first access to forthcoming products and applications.
The program is also exclusive, which personalizes the experience and rewards loyal customers.
4. Employer Branding
Exclusivity and inclusivity are both central to employer branding, an often overlooked branding method.
Job hunters aren’t the only ones who have to brand themselves on Linkedin to attract recruiters. Rockstar employees increase revenue, cash flow, profit, brand awareness. If you want to attract the best of the best, you have to brand yourself to potential employees.
Several elements go into effective employer branding:
- Company culture
- Linkedin marketing
- Workplace amenities
- Social media strategy
- Job ad copywriting
- Recruiting strategy
- Application gamification
- Employee testimonials
- Perks for employees
The hiring and terminating process isn’t cheap. You have to go through the trouble of training, allocating resources, and spending money for a replacement.
Effective employer branding inspires 5-star candidates to apply and long-term employees to stick around for the long-haul.
One of the fastest-growing employer branding methods is employee stories on social media. This method makes complete sense in a world of personal branding.
Rockstar employees are ideal social media influencers for your brand. Publications like the New York Times are great at this method. Starbucks is also known to employ this strategy.
Make employees feel like they’re a part of something big! This enthusiasm, energy, and ambition translate well on social media.
Define Your Brand
Are you ready to make your mark on the industry and consumers’ lives? Generate awareness and sales with these creative branding methods.
Create an iconic logo, write a powerful brand story, put customers first, and attract top talent with employer branding.
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